Sleep & Immunity

Sleep & Immunity
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Is the link between immune function and a good night’s rest a myth?

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To really boost our immune systems, maybe we just need to get enough sleep. Or is that a total myth? Fact or fiction: if you don’t get enough sleep, it can impair your immune system. Believe it or not, we didn’t know for certain either way, until 2009.

Researchers dripped virus into people’s nostrils—the common cold virus. Now, you’d think if someone squirted virus right up your nose, you’d definitely get sick. But no. It really depends on your immune system. Someone with a cold can sneeze dead in your face—but if you have a good enough immune system, you won’t get sick.

So in the study, did it depend on how much sleep they’d been getting? Fact, or fiction?

Fact. Those getting enough sleep were three to five times more likely to beat the virus.

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by veganmontreal.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image thanks to xlibber via Flickr.

To really boost our immune systems, maybe we just need to get enough sleep. Or is that a total myth? Fact or fiction: if you don’t get enough sleep, it can impair your immune system. Believe it or not, we didn’t know for certain either way, until 2009.

Researchers dripped virus into people’s nostrils—the common cold virus. Now, you’d think if someone squirted virus right up your nose, you’d definitely get sick. But no. It really depends on your immune system. Someone with a cold can sneeze dead in your face—but if you have a good enough immune system, you won’t get sick.

So in the study, did it depend on how much sleep they’d been getting? Fact, or fiction?

Fact. Those getting enough sleep were three to five times more likely to beat the virus.

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by veganmontreal.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image thanks to xlibber via Flickr.

Doctor's Note

Check out these videos on immunity:
Boosting Immunity While Reducing Inflammation
Clonal Selection Theory of Immunity
Boosting Immunity Through Diet

And check out my other videos on sleep.

Also see my associated blog posts for more context: The Best Way to Prevent the Common Cold?Probiotics During Cold Season?; and Mushrooms and Immunity.

If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here.

7 responses to “Sleep & Immunity

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  1. Can you recommend anything for helping to sleep through the night & keeping your energy up during the day? Been vegan since October and both hubby and I cannot stay awake. After 7 hours we’ve been up we zonk out. We take b12 like you recommend and we take d also.




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    1. Being vegan in general does’t necessarily cut it. This was happening to me as well when I changed to a vegan diet. Make sure your getting the right combinations of foods, because if your missing key nutrients your body wont be keep itself energized! I was having to little salt and sugar. As soon as I added himalayan salt and more fruits my energy boosted!




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  2. I have a really bad cold.  What can I do to make it go away as soon as possible?  The only medicine type thing I’ve been taking is cough drops because my sore throat is super painful & won’t go away!  I know it’s my fault that I got it.  I totally brought it on by staying out too late & drinking & smoking the green stuff.  It’s something I shouldn’t be doing right now anyway.  My body is mad at me now.  I’m very busy though & want to know what to do.  At the moment I’m so sick I can’t get out of bed:(  Thanks for any info you have on what I should be eating etc. to get better.  Thanks again!




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  3. My husband and I have been McDougal fans for 35 years. Lowfat vegans. Other than some levothyoxine for me, as a result we take no pills. However I seem to have picked up an identified Aspergillus infection and am coughing/fatigued. Not being able to find any information on this I am 75 and asking for your suggestions and opinion on this subject. Thank you.




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    1. Kristy: I am sorry to hear about problem. I don’t know anything about infections/Aspergillus. But I wanted to comment on the 35 years low fat vegan part. That’s just so cool.

      One thing that caught my eye in your post was the part of not taking pills. Does that include B12? If you have really gone 35 years without a reliable source of B12, maybe that is something you should look into? Just a thought. Dr. Greger has some excellent videos on B12, why it is needed, etc.

      Good luck. I hope you are able to beat this and go on another 35 years happy and healthy.




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